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What are SEO Ranking Signals?

Google is notorious for not giving us the exact algorithm of how they rank websites. Sometimes they give hints as to the metrics they use, but in some cases these pronouncements can be confusing or contradictory.

Most of the time, they just tell website owners to basically not to worry about SEO and that their primary responsibility should be to provide a quality website to their visitors.

But SEO efforts are about making sure that Google doesn’t find it difficult to find the right websites. And that means identifying the correct metrics Google uses in its algorithm, so that websites can then focus on those elements as well.

But just because Google won’t talk about the metrics they use to rank websites doesn’t mean that SEO experts can’t find out. So if you are doing your own SEO, you may want to focus on the following factors to increase your rank in the SERPs.

  1. Relevant terms. This is the top factor for Google results, and it’s obvious why. After all, you can’t be the top result for “Italian restaurants” if you just have a small blog post about your love for pizza. The top result will probably have a website name that includes “Italian restaurant” in its name, and the website will be peppered with lots of Italian dishes. So if you want to rank highly for certain keywords, you need to make sure that your content focuses on using relevant terms connected to those keywords.
  2. Social signals. While some Google reps have said that social signals don’t have any bearing, various studies have suggested otherwise. In fact, of the top 10 metrics suspected of having the most weight in the Google algorithm, 7 of them are social signals. That means you really need to have a strong social presence online, and you need to accumulate Google+1s, Facebook likes, shares, and comments, and tweets.

It’s an accepted fact that a huge chunk of Internet users at any time are in the social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. And when all these people are talking about your website, Google can’t just blindly ignore these signals. These are obvious indicators that your website is hugely relevant and useful for so many people.

  1. These are the links on other websites which lead back to your own website. The more links you have the better, and they must be high ranking websites themselves. This means that these websites should rank prominently in searches pertaining to your own niche. You may even be penalized if the backlinks come from websites which are entirely unconnected to your own niche.

Links in news domains are also valuable, and new backlinks are factored in as well.

It’s said that there are about 200 metrics used in the Google algorithm, but obviously, you can’t address all of them effectively all the time. With our list, at least you can focus on the factors that seem to matter most to Google.


Choosing The Right WordPress Template For SEO to Obtain High Rankings

One of the many benefits of WordPress is that you have a plethora of templates to choose from. With these templates, you can set up your website much more easily, and incorporate the features and look you wish. But there’s a catch. Sometimes it’s hard to pick just one template, especially when you’re also taking SEO into consideration.

To help you out, here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

1. Premium or Free WordPress Template. If you’re starting a blog as a hobby, then any free WordPress template will suffice for your needs. Many of the most stunning and most useful WordPress templates are free, and you can easily find one that’s suitable for your niche and needs.

But there’s one major difference between premium and paid templates: support. With a premium template, you can expect a development team that addresses security issues seriously and that makes sure that your template is updated for any changes in WordPress. You can’t expect these with a free template.

2. Make room for web content. It’s important that you find the most suitable template for your needs, but that doesn’t mean you need to limit yourself. The most obvious example here is the stereotypical template for photographers. They may offer a great way to display photo portfolios, but just having lots of images doesn’t bode well for SEO. You’ll need a section for articles so that the website has a chance of ranking highly in the search results.

3. Test the loading time. Features which may look good or offer additional functions are essentially useless if they take too long to load. Numerous studies have confirmed this, which is why using elements like homepage sliders have disastrous consequences. These things were a trend back in 2013, but it was later revealed that they didn’t work for conversions, usability, or SEO.

Your web pages should load quickly. If not, then you lose out on SEO (Google takes loading time into consideration) and the people who visit your website will just click out and leave.

4. Make sure your website is responsive. Responsive design is a trend which will probably never go out of favor, simply because it is so important. A responsive design can look good on monitors, larger smart TVs, and on smaller mobile screens.

As a website owner, you can’t afford to neglect mobile internet users, because there are simply too many of them. And Google itself has declared back in 2013 that websites which are not friendly for mobile users will go down in the rankings. Often times, choosing the right template automatically takes care of SEO, since the right template makes sure that your web visitors will have a positive user experience on your website. Nonetheless, you need to check. A good template can tempt people to stay longer on your website, but SEO makes sure you get plenty of visitors to your site in the first place.


Why Top Companies Choose to Build Their Brand Online With SEO

For small businesses, one of the most ubiquitous advice they’ve heard is that they have to build their brand online. Building your brand means not just letting people know about your company, but also defining it in a way that effectively sets you apart from your competitors. 

If you have a small business, you have to build your brand online. Even the top companies in the world are doing the very same thing. Here are some of the reasons why: 

1.It enables you to reach audiences worldwide. With top companies, the main advantage of the Internet is that they can just about engage with everyone from anywhere in the world. They’re not limited to local TV shows and newspapers. A single campaign can encompass the globe. 

2.It’s an opportunity to engage in a more personal way. One of the main problems with top companies is that many people see them as faceless corporations whose sole purpose is to gain profit from the masses. But going online can provide a more personal touch, and your brand can have a human face which your potential customers can identify with. 

This has become much easier through the use of social networking tools such as Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. These companies can easily find out what issues their customers are concerned about, and they can answer their questions right away. Huge companies can offer the same small-town vibe that appeals to many customers. 

3.The cost is relatively cheap. Top companies, despite their size and budget, aren’t exactly fond of spending money. They remain on top precisely because their expenses are less than their revenues. 

And that’s one of the main allure of brand building online. It doesn’t cost much at all, and the ROI is tremendous. Building a website is much cheaper than engaging in a nationwide or worldwide TV advertising campaign. And by going online, they can even have their customers acting as their own marketing staff, spreading word of their brand on their own—for free. 

4.Results are more specific and instantaneous. When top companies engage in brand building, the results can take months before they become noticeable. And even then, the results aren’t as specific. It’s much more difficult to get more specific data from offline marketing efforts. 

With online tools, top companies can glean a lot of specific data regarding demographics that they can tailor their message. They can target precise demographics. 

And the results can be received immediately. There’s no waiting period involved which means they can react more quickly to real time perceptions about their brand. 

Building your brand online is one of the most effective ways of reaching your target market, and top companies know this. If you haven’t done so yet, you better take action now before your competitors do.



Why Google Places is Important for Business

Why Google Places is Important for Business

If your business has an actual physical location, then one of the first things you need to do to promote your business is to use Google Places. This service enables you to get listed on Google Maps. It sounds so simple, but the benefits are profound. 

Here are some reasons why Google Places is so important for your business:

1.It’s cheap. All you need is a little bit of time and effort to set up your business profile, and that’s it. There’s no fee to use this service, because it’s a free service offered by Google. 

2.It gives you an online presence. If you have a small business and you don’t have a website of your own just yet, then your Google Places listing can function as your website. 

3.You can provide information about your business. You can put your business name, description, phone number, and location on your listing. It’s very much like being listed in the Pages except that the listing is on the Web. You can also add other relevant info, including photos and YouTube videos. 

4.Your listing will appear on Google search results. The focus here is on local searches, and the results are therefore limited to your local area. So if a Google user is searching for a Chinese restaurant in San Jose, CA, then Google determines the user’s location and then provides all the Chinese restaurants near them. That will include your business if you own a Chinese restaurant nearby. The Google user can even check out your listing to learn more about you. 

5.Your location will appear on Google maps. For small businesses, this is a crucial advantage. Now your potential customers will know exactly where your office can be found. Google acts as a beacon for your would-would be customers to follow. In addition, even just getting your Google map location on Google search results boosts awareness in your brand. 

6.You get reviews about your business. This is always a good thing, even if you get a bad review every now and then. Reviews make your business more relevant, and that will boost your ranking in search results. And when you view them objectively, these things tell you how to improve your business. You’ll know what you are doing right, and you can address the complaints by improving on weak areas. 

7.Addressing reviews enable you to engage with your customers. You can acknowledge reviews, and this can make your customers feel more special. You can thank the ones who wrote the good reviews. As for the negative reviews, even just hearing from you can decrease any bad feelings, and readers can at least know that you are taking complaints seriously. 

So essentially, Google Places is crucial for your business because it will increase people’s awareness of your brand. It also enables you to enhance your relationship with your customers. These are the advantages that a small business cannot afford to ignore.